Aras and Shane -- who have apparently become brothers since the times when Aras used to sit around and talk about what a complete psycho Shane was -- sit down to have a chat. Aras tells Shane, in a way that may or may not be sarcastic, that he "loves" the way Bruce carefully cleans up the Zen rock garden every morning. Indeed, Bruce is carefully rearranging things (LOOK OUT FOR FALLING METAPHORS!), and he voices over that he is a bit of an outsider in the existing Casaya arrangement, and just wants to get to the merge, where everything will change. If, having seen the rest of the episode, you reflect on that comment, it will strike you as kind of funny. Because apparently, Bruce does not intend to take advantage of the merge in any way whatsoever, so I'm not sure what he thinks is going to change. Maybe he just thinks that the larger number of people means that somebody will fucking appreciate his fucking garden.
We now join Sally, who is still out on Exile Island. She reminds us that her being sent there was her "saving grace," because of the way she was doomed to be eliminated the previous night otherwise. She tells us that she has been spending some time looking for the idol, though she acknowledges that Terry may have it, of course. "Maybe I'll get lucky," she says. Frankly, her efforts to find it look half-hearted enough that I'm not sure she's trying very hard.
La Mina. Day 16. The remaining boys are not particularly happy about their situation following the departure of Very Pale Dan who, I realize, seems to have left about a year and a half ago, but actually left last night. Austin interviews that he's nervous about how things are going to go from this point, because the timing of the merge will affect how the remaining LaMinans will fare. Presumably, they're hoping not to go into the merge down 6-4, which means they want there to be one more immunity challenge. There has historically been some elasticity over the run of the series in precisely when the merge happens, so it's not an unrealistic hope. Of course, it will now be thwarted, like every hope and dream La Mina has had at any time since the game began, pretty much. The bad news begins with the mail Terry brings back to show to the boys. It instructs the La Minans to inspect their back beach for something that doesn't belong there. Like, presumably, the smell of victory. Austin interviews that, with instructions in hand, he feels that they should "get it on," like Marvin Gaye said. I'm not sure Marvin Gaye meant "let's get it on" in the "follow a written clue and search the beach for another written clue" kind of way, but all right. As they walk to the beach, the guys are all in agreement that they hope what they find will turn out to be food. I don't really understand what these guys are eating. It's still the famous beans, I guess, but I can't imagine their systems are not getting severely screwed. There haven't been a lot of eating rewards yet, and there hasn't apparently been any luck with fishing, despite the fishing kit, so they are hard up, like, to the point where I'm sure they're all envisioning each other turning into big hams.